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Government Rapid Charging Fund 'must drive wider energy transition', REA says

Image: Getty.

Image: Getty.

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has outlined eight principles for the deployment of the government’s £500 million Rapid Charging Fund.

It highlighted how work needs to begin “soon” if the target of six rapid chargers are to be installed on each Motorway Service area site by 2023, as is the aim of the fund.

The fund “must drive the wider energy transition”, the REA stated, recommending that the fund is deployed in a way that drives new solar PV, onshore wind, energy storage and other low-carbon onsite generation capacity deployment.

The deployment of the fund and ownership of the subsequent assets should be assigned to an arms-length Authority that, it said, can either by full owned by or report directly to the government.

Cost optimal solutions for future proof grid upgrades should be pursued for both current and future customers, the REA said, adding another recommendation that sites that are less likely to make a profit early should be treated with equal importance to higher-value sites.

Other recommendations include:

  • Creating competition for consumers across the network, with consumers able to choose their preferred charge point operators.
  • Ensuring consumer ease is prioritised.
  • Deploying charging capacity that is developed with the electrification of other vehicles such as buses, coaches and the HGV market in mind.
  • Being transparent and moving all sites forward simultaneously, with the REA stating they would “welcome” the publication of a transparent plan to upgrade all relevant Motorway Service Areas/Strategic Road Network sites.

Daniel Brown, policy manager and EV lead at the REA, said the fund is creating a “real opportunity for the rapid charging sector and consumers”.

“Getting this right means building market confidence, supporting British industry, and removing a major barrier to rapid charge point deployment.

“The rapid charging sector is looking to see that the Authority responsible for delivery of this grid capacity is structuring deployment in a long-term and transparent way that ensures widespread coverage and competition in the market.”

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